Let the good times roll.
Coin output at the U.S. Mint is signaling more good times to come.
Through the month of May, the Mint has produced almost 7.4 billion coins in the calendar year 2015.
That works out to a monthly average of nearly 1.5 billion
Think about it.
18 billion coins a year.
No wonder the process has begun to add workers and a third shift at the Mint’s production facilities.
Before the end of the cent, or end of the nickel occurs, let alone the end of all cash, it looks like the U.S. Mint coin production is heading back into the stratosphere.
Will the 25 billion coin record set back in the year 2000 be broken?
The NASDAQ stock market average broke its 2000 high point this year. Why not the Mint’s coin production? It will take a little longer, though.
At the present rate of production increase, we will have to wait until the year 2018 at the soonest before output will again threaten to break the 2000 record, yet that year is not that far into the future
Even with a presidential election raising the possibility of new leadership, the next administration in 2017 will not likely change the present trajectory.
Why should it?
Futurists aside, no politician cares about coins except to stop any possible change long enough to win the next election.
Nobody in elective office likes surprise gripes like a coin shortage, or the abolition of the cent.
So keep those coining presses running toward full tilt.
Keep subsidizing the costs of the cent and the nickel.
Hope quarter demand will continue rising enough to provide the basis of that cost-shifting subsidy.
However, one cost will come down.
As more and more coins are produced with little change in the Mint’s physical plant and equipment, the overhead cost per coin will drop and make even the cent look cheaper to make.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."